“The ramblings and grumblings of author Ad Hudler”

Golden Palace Dragon China
Monday, August 31, 2009

Have you ever noticed how Chinese restaurants (the ones tucked into every strip mall in America) always seem to have similar names? It's as if there's a list of allowed words that can be used in any combination, and they cannot stray from this list:

China
Dragon
Palace
Peking
Garden
Express
Golden
Buffet
Shanghai
Lucky
Jade
Panda


And they ALL have the same menu. I swear they're printed by the same printer in some alley in New Jersey or some place: tri-folded, a few all-color pictures of entrees, with a "Chef's Specialties" section that ALWAYS includes General Tso's Chicken.

Am I forgetting any names on this list?
And is there some Chinese mafia that runs all of these?


8 Comments:

Anonymous Wendy Withers said...

My favorite Chinese place was No. 1 Chinese Buffet in Jacksonville, NC. I tried it out because I was intrigued by the title. Was it really No. 1 Chinese?

It quickly became my favorite Chinese place. They had a take out buffet by the pound, which included sushi, and it came with a free pint of soup. They also had awesome sauteed green beans with pickled turnips and onions mixed in. So good.

August 31, 2009 at 1:25 PM  
Blogger Haley said...

Don't forget the Chinese zodiac place mats! They frequently have those too.

August 31, 2009 at 2:08 PM  
Blogger Ad Hudler said...

OMG: A silver lining to your daughter leaving the nest and heading for college: She starts to write comments on your blog!!

August 31, 2009 at 2:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have "Wonderful" in Eastern Colorado and Western Kansas. And many, many years ago every Chinese cafe had the word American somewhere in neon. Unless you went north and then it was Chinese-Canadian.
Was that to reassure us?

August 31, 2009 at 8:44 PM  
Anonymous Josephine Bennett said...

All of the fortune cookies are made in the same place as well.

September 1, 2009 at 10:11 AM  
Anonymous #1 Mr. Wong said...

I heard something somewhere that numbers are very important in Chinese culture, which is why you see a lot of #1 Chinese Wok, etc..

By the way, Ad, whenever you're ready for gin/beer/vodka/rum therapy, I'm happy to participate.

Haley, if you're reading this, get back to work!!! ENJOY!!!!!

September 1, 2009 at 2:28 PM  
Anonymous erin said...

Had my first date with my husband at "Peking Palace"- our fortunes matched... Had our first argument when I swore that our first date was to "Shanghai Garden". First and last time I was wrong.

September 1, 2009 at 10:25 PM  
Blogger Laressa Mackenzie said...

There's an exception...at least there used to be. Tampa, either on Fowler or Fletcher, caters to the late-night drive-thru crowd (read: drunk twenty-somethings craving Chinese). I've been there. Absolutely delicious at 2 AM, from what I recall. The name?
"Chinee Takee Outee"! I swear. They know their customer base. Brilliant.

September 12, 2009 at 9:55 PM  

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